Heavy-handed to say the least, Heasley and his crew brew up a smoldering, swarmy swill here, wherein over-flanged strings are the primary backdrop to an unwieldy predisposition for dynamics, and even the occasional sublime hook. The third song in, "Collider," driven by a disarmingly ethereal harmony, is almost an anomaly. "Tone Bender" is a dichotomy of the Lily's ferocious rhythm section, rubbing shoulders with the songs more listener-friendly attributes evidenced in the aforementioned "Collider." In fact, much of Presence is a veritable conflict between these two diverging paths. Unarguably, the album's sheer dissonance makes for a challenging listen, but truth be told, the only selection I wish the Lilys had eschewed is the meandering 12-minute instrumental "The Way Snowflakes Fall." Luckily, they redeem themselves by following it up with the comparatively poppy "Threw a Day," which wouldn't have sounded out of place on Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation.
The title, In the Presence of Nothing, is a parody on Velvet Crush's debut, In the Presence of Greatness, which saw the light of day mere months before the Lily's album. In the Presence of Nothing is currently out of print, but can be found used on Amazon. The band tends to take Chinese Democracy-length stretches between albums and eps. Just so you know.
01. There's No Such Thing as Black Orchids
02. Elizabeth Colour Wheel
04. Tone Bender
06. It Does Nothing for Me
08. The Way Snowflakes Fall
09. Threw a Day
10. Claire Hates Me